Reader Question: The Stuff We Don’t Get?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Rick asks: Can you explain the difference between the domestic and international truck market? I’ve been overseas twice with the Air Force and it’s Toyota Hilux trucks as far as the eye can see. Some with 5 speed manuals and diesel engines. It just seems to me that the international market gets all of the fun quirky cars, even if they are domestic manufacturers. Thank you for continuing to fight for Freedom and Liberty.

My reply: It’s pretty straightforward . . . many of the vehicles that are available outside the U.S. do not “comply” with various federal ukase, such as “emissions” (as regards the diesel HiLux for example) or “safety” – which by the way has nothing to do with whether a vehicle is safe but rather whether it complies with the multitude of federal requirements pertaining to such things as side-impact/roof crush crash test standards. A vehicle that does not “comply” with these standards isn’t more likely to crash or in any way unroadworthy. It simply doesn’t “comply” with the current standards. Under the current standards, a 2000 Mercedes S-Class would not “comply.” Is the 2000 S-Class an “unsafe” car? Of course it isn’t. It is in fact a far safer car to be in if you crash than, say, a new Hyundai Accent. But the Accent (which isn’t “unsafe,” either) is “compliant” with the current ukase while the ’00 Benz isn’t.

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  1. We do not get the Dodge Charger here in Australia. I did see a recent Challenger however. HiLux is the #1 selling truck, aka ute, here in Oz. Ford Ranger #2. Lots of diesels. Our large trucks have to meet the Euro6 emission standards. And our cars and light trucks have to meet Commiefornia emissions. Why I don’t know, as all of our emissions blow out into 1500 kms of empty oceans. Few of the utes sold here have the factory bed. There is quite an aftermarket for custom truck beds.
    My youngest son hauls motorcycles around Australia. He has a diesel Amarok, less than 6 months old, and he states it is the best ute he has ever had. It can tow 8500 kg, which is what he needs for his business. It comes with an 8 speed auto which is also the best auto he has ever had for towing. Amarok is doing well here too in sales.
    We have craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash standards but they are relatively recent.
    The Dodge Ram pickups are selling more and more each passing year. They are quite expensive, starting around $70k, and are getting rave reviews.


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